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Greg

Interview with Major General (Ret) Lewis Mackenzie

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Mapleleafweb is scheduled to do an interview with Major General (Ret.) Lewis Mackenzie, former Canadian Armed Forces general and writer. We are providing visitors (and forum members) the opportunity to submit potential questions to General Mackenzie.

The topic of the interview will be general military affairs and issues relating to Canada's role as a peace-keeper. Your questions can be emailed directly to me, or you can post the questions in this weblog posting. To post your questions in the weblog post, you will need to register or login.

Note: Your forum registration info will NOT work when making comments on weblog postings. Unfortunately, the forums and the weblog registration system are not completely integrated - I'm working on it!!!

In the mean time, you'll need to register twice - once here and once for the weblog.

Your questions can be submitted until Wednesday, January 23rd, after which I will select three (or more) interesting questions and include them in the batch asked to General Mackenzie. The interview will appear in the Interviews section of Mapleleafweb.

Any off-topic or disrespectful postings or questions in weblog thread (or this forum thread) will be deleted.

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Looking forward to seeing the interview, Greg.

My question: Is there a non-combat role for the Canadian Forces to fulfill in Afghanistan after 2009?

Is it okay to submit the question here or do you need it on your weblog?

Edited by jdobbin

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Is it okay to submit the question here or do you need it on your weblog?

Either or is fine. In future interview question requests, you'll likely only be able to post a question through the weblog. The reason for this slight change since the last interview request, is that I want to involve more than just the forum members.

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Recently in an op-ed piece in the Ottawa Ctizen you state that Liberal Leader S. Dion is misleading Canadians by making recommendations for Canada's role in Afghanistan which are in fact, tasks that we are already in fact engaged in.

Given that Canada's mission is in no way popular, do you believe that the Liberal leader is trying to make political points on the backs of the suffering Afghanis?

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/s...e14f3be&p=2

Perhaps not by coincidence, Mr. Dion's recommendations are actually in line with what is happening on the ground in Kandahar province. It's just too bad the language in his presentation to the Manley panel is presumably designed to sound like something new and therefore misleading to the uninformed. Training of the Afghan Army continues at an accelerated pace as new units stand up and can train some of their own soldiers. Reconstruction is taking place where security permits and those secure areas are being expanded by, dare I say the words, combat operations.

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Recently in an op-ed piece in the Ottawa Ctizen you state that Liberal Leader S. Dion is misleading Canadians by making recommendations for Canada's role in Afghanistan which are in fact, tasks that we are already in fact engaged in.

Given that Canada's mission is in no way popular, do you believe that the Liberal leader is trying to make political points on the backs of the suffering Afghanis?

That question should be followed by: Do you intend to run as a Conservative candidate again?

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To Major General Mackenzie;

You have stated there is dearth of any kind of military experience represented in Parliament and it seems you are now appealing to Canadians directly to generate support for the military's missions in Ahfghanistan and elsewhere. Do you think Canada's military would receive more support for its missions if ordinary Canadians could have a direct say in steering military policy through things like referenda and citizens assemblies?

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To Major General Lewis MacKenzie

Could you give us a better understanding of the things that we are doing outside the "search & destroy" parameters. I know that we are providing security for the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, training the Afghan Police, and mentoring the Afghan Army. It would help greatly if we had an idea of the ratio of "search & destroy" troops to troops engaged in the other activities. Is it 70/30, 60/40? And importantly, is this ratio planned to move more favourably towards non Search & Destroy as we move forward? It's frustrating to hear Stephane Dion talk as if all we do is agressive combat.

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Question: It appears that a large part of Canada's population now views active, agressive peacekeeping or military actions as somehow ignoble and immoral, that, in effect, anything beyond wearing a blue helmet and standing smiling and wagging fingers at warring combatants is somehow not "Canadian". This segment of the population - which appears to include most of the Canadian media - would prefer us to return to the days when soldiers filed reports about slaughter and murder rather than taking action to stop it.

How does the general believe this situation came about, and what does he believe it holds in store for future peacekeeping roles for Canada, or other necessary and important military work carried out by Canada's military?

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Question: While the military is unquestionably under-funded and under-manned, there still appears to be a common belief that the military is over-led with far too many bureacrats, in and out of uniform, that, in effect, DND should be able to fire a regiment of statisticians and human resources clerks in order to pay for another regiment of infantry. Does the general believe this is a mistaken belief?

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Question: Does the general believe that General Hillier, or people close to him, sabotaged General O'Connor (due to rivalry between the two) by, among other things, not providing O'Connor's office with adequate information regarding the situation in Afghanistan?

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Question:

Does the General believe that the recent purchases of equipment made by the current government has done much to help the 'rust out' that has been plaguing the armed forces?

What would the general recommend be in line for the next step in replacement kit for the military with an eye on available tactics we currently use and tactics we should/would like to be able to use .

Thank you

Edited by White Doors

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Should senior military people give interviews to the media or should they leave media contacts to the politicians? IOW, if you had a chance to do it again, do you think that you could have achieved more in terms of Canadian/UN interests if you had held your tongue more often?

----

BTW Greg, what happened with the Layton interview? Is there a link or thread available?

Edited by August1991

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BTW Greg, what happened with the Layton interview? Is there a link or thread available?

Not that i would spak for greg but it can be found Right Here

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Sir, would you advocate scrapping the term ,Canadian Forces, in favour of RCAF, RCN and Canadian Army? Another question Sir if you please. Would it not be a good idea to create more reguler force regiments from some of our great reserve units to give areas of the country more personal ownership of said regiments? I refer to the Queens Own Rifles, Black Watch and the Guards of the fiftys and sixtys. Would this not boost moral?

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Sir,

I suspect that many Canadians are just uncertain of what, exactly, we're trying to accomplish in Afghanistan. The rhetoric of the last two federal governments, in advocating for the mission, has been framed in platitudes rather than specifics; and the objectives of the NATO/ISAF mission, though laudable, are quite vaguely worded. Could you help us out? As you understand the overall aims of Canada's active combat mission in Afghanistan, what concrete events or states of affairs would justify winding down the combat element? (Over and above the mere expiry of the clock on the commitment we've made thus far, I mean.) And what timeline, in your estimation, are we looking at for those events to occur?

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This is your last day to get your interview questions in for General Mackenzie.

Thanks to all of you who have submitted the above questions,

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Sir ,

A couple of questions.

1) Can we please see to it that our Forces personnel get paid better?

2) What are your views with respect to the Manley report? Should we stay , should we change course, or should we come home.

3) Should you be out boating this summer, my dock is the eighth one on your right leaving the govt dock, so is it a Blue or a Canadian you would like. Stay away from the river though, Tony Clement s place is down there.

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Thanks to everyone who submitted questions in this thread.

General MacKenzie and I will be speaking tomorrow, and I've included some of the questions submitted in the interview.

I'll post a notice here when the interview has been typed up and posted in the Interviews section.

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